A few months back, I had posted that instead of IPTV (the telco version of television streamed to your television), the downloadable television, despite being a dark horse, could upset the whole video ecosystem. And that was before Steve Jobs released video iPod, and did the Pixar deal to get closer to the glitterati. Thomas Nolle, writing for Network World says, “Steve Jobs took a giant step toward making IPTV a non-issue when he announced the Video iPod…..If consumers want portable, personalized, video experiences, will their as-I-want-it attitude carry over into their home-viewing patterns?”
What’s your take on this debate? You really think video iPod is a game changer? Or just another adjunct device for television as we know it?
Bonus Link: Light Reading report on FCC’s debate over video franchises held recently in Texas.
Walt Mossberg puts various video devices not video iPod under the microscope.
14 thoughts on “Video iPod Makes IPTV A Non Starter?”
It seems to me that the question of whether or not it’s a game changer was answered already. Even describing it as just another adjunct makes it a game changer. PaidContent had two relevant stories yesterday…one on MTV…(McGrath’s digital Marshall Plan “…signals the end of the one-screen company. The troops must now deliver services across new broadband channels, over cell phones, and via video games. )…and starbucks as a network….actually, every day the whole damn site is full of stories and reports that signal the fact that the exploded TV concept is no longer an “if and when”…but here and now, and some companies have a huge jump (Apple) and others realize they need to get game pronto (IAC..”We’d like to look for a site like AtomFilms or IFilms”)…and two people in their apartment throwing together a 3 minute “news” show got $40,000 worth of ad buy…just 5 ads, just one week. Everything about the TV model…distribution, production, financial model…is being re-thought, and evolving at the fringes AND in the trenches of the mega-corps.
iPod video is downloaded, not streamed as is IPTV. SBC’s “lead” class of service, part of their stated 2nd class customer strategy (see net netrality), will screw with the IPTV stream, but will just lengthen the download. We can wait while we do something else. Video iPods are portable PVRs. Who needs the stream?
I’d have to disagree. The video ipod will be the first step in ala carte video consumtion, but for each person that owns an ipod there are dozens that will never own an ipod (including myself).
So as a means of delivering delivering ala carte programming, there will be many other devices i.e. portable media players, mobile phones, dvrs, and even hard drive equipped televisions that will alow TV watchers to consume video on their own terms.
The ipod video was the start but by all means is not the end all of digital video.
The only kind of video content I need to be portable is time sensitive content, news, sports, stuff like that. Entertainment programming? Nope, I’d rather watch it on my 42 inch HDTV plasma with surround sound.
To be more than a gimmick the video iPod needs real time connectivity.
dear Om- you have a point- video ipods are probably not right for every one- but have you tried our merlin mp3/mp4 players – please see http://www.merlin-me.com – you might be pleasantly surprised by our ipods- merlin is rocking the podcasting world- with its 10,000 songs/100 movies capacity on your palm-tops- regards- hiro bachani- mg. director
Downloadable video definatly has the chance to compete with a-la carte cable and IPTV. Though I don’t think the video iPod should be given as much credit as Bittorrent should. The only thing that Apple and the Video iPod can be credited with is brokering deals with major labels for a per episode price model. Not only will that price model fail at larger rates of consumption ($150 per month for TV?), but the idea of millions having the opportunity and desire to watch TV on a 2 inch screen is proposterous. People want to watch TV on thier computer (at more than 320×480 resolution) or on thier HDTV in the comfort of thier living rooms. Steve has a long way go before he can make that a reality.
Why would anyone want to watch video on a (roughly) 2×2 screen for any extended period of time? Especially with my eyesight!
Video downloads are the future. How much do you pay for cable each month? ~$60. That’s 30 downloads via iTunes. I don’t watch that much content on cable each month (cable companies have been sucking my wallet dry for too long now). The only problem today is bandwidth for delivering HDTV. If Apple delivers a home media center that can do HD, I would drop my cable service (except for sports & news) in favor of downloads.
I like to watch TV at home, on a nice big screen with lots of surround sound audio. Only place i can think of watching something on a video ipod would be on a plane.
I think the thing to watch here will be where iTunes music store (or media store) itself is headed. Obviously the whole experience now is centered around the iPod, but it’s interesting to connect the dots and see where they might be headed. Just go to the Apple QuickTime trailers section and download an H.264 HD trailer. Then play it on a nice big screen. I have a SONY Bravia and you can’t beleive how good those HD quicktimes look. Not as good as Blu-ray, but a heck of a lot better than anything my TiVo kicks out. When Apple hardware is fully on Intel and can take advantage of Viiv technology along with ultra high speed connections, then Apple is really going to be a force in home entertainment. I agree that I don’t like to watch Battlerstar Galactica at 320 x 240 because those files are meant for the video iPod, but it’s honestly not that much worse than where SD TiVo is right now. I really think the day is not far away when we’ll be able to download an HD encoded program to a Mac mini (or other PC) and watch it with a remote just like TV or a DVD, and never know the difference. With better codecs, faster connections, cheap storage and PCs that can play any HD file with ease, we will definitely see a major disruption in the whole home entertainment arena. While everyone is battling over Blu-ray vs HD DVD, techonology is racing ahead that will make physical delivery of any media obsolete. I personally think the download model will be the way to go for the next little while. I have never seen an example of VOD or streaming that came close in quality or flexibility of a nicely encoded file. Apple will most likely come out with larger screens on thier iPods, cell phones, HD LCDs, etc. to cover every possible way you could watch or listen to content. And with Disney at thier fingertips, will give a lot of people a run for their money.
It’s not primarily about delivery mechanisms, it’s about user experience and perceptions. Most of us are are busy and (hence) ‘lazy’ about media consumption (e.g. the average person will never put in the effort to manage their music collection that an iPod owner does). And free is a hell of an attractive price. As we know Apple appreciates, music usually accompanies activity, is heard repeatedly and has close emotional connections, whereas video is used to switch off (psychologically it’s akin to hypnosis) is mainly viewed once and is mostly considered disposable, so we’re even less likely to invest time in active management. Undoubtedly the delivery ecosystem will become more complex, but video content will increasingly be consumed when and where it best fits. Hence, the mobile phone (not the pre-WiFi, pre-phone iPod we have now) will be significant for throwaway content like news, sitcoms and maybe game shows; while big drama, state occasions, sport, etc., will stay largely big-screen. IPTV and downloadable video have complementary strengths: the former requires least change in behaviour (‘what’s on just now?’), has immediacy and because of mass audiences will remain cheapest per hour to consumers; the latter blows apart the big broadcaster monopoly and democratises the medium such that many more niche content producers will emerge (the ‘long tail’ – for which iTunes DRM for independents will be pivotal). Don’t forget the big advantage both mechanisms really offer over old-TV is linking to intelligence about our preferences (c.f. TiVo). Whichever best automates what I am offered, streamed or not, will ‘win’ – but probably neither will. Rather, both will survive after finding a price equilibrium, and indeed the geeky distinction will probably prove academic when software seamlessly allows both streamed and downloaded content tailored to my viewing habits to appear when and where I most want it.
IPTV and a la carte video will be the same thing. Sure, you’ll be able to view streamed IPTV video, but if you want you’ll also get to order up whatever you want and have it sent straight to any TV in the home. IPTV will not be either streamed or download, it will be both.
Everyone in my family owns an iPod, yet I don’t see the video iPod as a game changer. The iPod, in the public eye(parden the bad pun), is a listening device not a viewing device. My teenager has a video iPod, yet I never see her watching anything on it, only listening. It takes a tremendous effort to change public perception once a device is accepted to perform a function. I don’t see the marketing effort necessary happening to turn the iPod into a viewing device.